“The grief-based community”

Noemie Emery in the Weekly Standard condemns the left for its pattern of using grief as a political weapon in the post 9/11 envirnoment. With nothing to offer in that environment except the prescription that we go into a defensive crouch, but one in which no one’s privacy is ever to be infringed upon, the left has tried to preempt debate by relying on figures who are supposed to possess special “moral authority” by virtue of their grief (e.g., Cindy Sheehan), their demise (Paul Wellstone), or their war record (John Kerry). As Emery explains:

Political cut and thrust does not go well with the etiquette of bereavement, which tends to short-circuit all argument, which of course is the point. It inhibits argument, makes response awkward, and sometimes can stop it completely, putting an opponent in the position of Norm Coleman before the Wellstone Memorial fracas, in which Democrats were free to seek votes based on sentiment, while anything Coleman tried to say about Wellstone’s replacement was called an insult to the dead. People who put mourners up front on policy issues are like robbers leaving a bank with a hostage between themselves and police fire. To do this on purpose, to drive an agenda, is beneath all contempt.

As to Sheehan, Emery has this to say:

She is now the vehicle for a collection of losers, who will use her, and then toss her over and out once she has served their purposes, or more likely failed to do so. Her family has broken up under the effects of this circus; she has now lost her husband, as well as her son. Please, send her back to her therapist, and what is now left of her broken-up family. And please–do not try this again.


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